from The Great Debate:

Obama’s address: Borrowing from Bubba and the Gipper

By David Kusnet
January 29, 2014

Many presidents don’t have the problem of salvaging their second terms because the voters threw them out of office. Among those who win reelection, the successful communicators, such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, used many of the techniques that President Barack Obama deployed in his State of the Union Address last night. He is likely to repeat them often this year, which is one that will determine whether his administration is remembered as transformational or transitional.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Message for Clinton: Look before you leap

By Nicholas Wapshott
January 28, 2014

There seems to be a rush to get former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare her run for the presidency.

from David Rohde:

Dooming the Syria talks before they begin

By David Rohde
January 22, 2014

The United States won a short-term diplomatic victory over Iran this week. Under intense pressure from American officials, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon withdrew an invitation for Iranian officials to attend the Syria peace conference.

from The Great Debate:

On NSA, Obama still says ‘trust me’

By Ari Melber
January 17, 2014

President Barack Obama’s speech on Friday on intelligence reform marked a bullish shift in his approach to the National Security Agency.

from David Rohde:

Newest victim of congressional wrecking ball: Iran policy

By David Rohde
January 15, 2014

By design or accident, it is increasingly clear that the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s second-term foreign policy is a nuclear agreement with Iran. Whether Obama can succeed, however, now depends on Congress staying out of the negotiations.

from The Great Debate:

Christie: Crossing the line

By Bill Schneider
January 15, 2014

Back in the 1970s, a Jewish organization commissioned a poll to investigate anti-Semitism in the United States. The poll included several open-ended questions. One asked, “Is there anything in particular you like about Jewish people?” The answers were recorded verbatim.

from The Great Debate:

Filling judicial vacancies to protect the progressive legacy

By Herman Schwartz
January 13, 2014

What could never happen, finally did.

For more than 30 years the Democratic Senate caucus feebly stood by as Republicans seized control of the federal courts. Now, however, faced with a GOP filibuster of nominees for three vacancies on the appeals court that could determine the fate of most of President Barack Obama’s initiatives, the Democrats have at last responded.

from David Rohde:

How 2013′s partisanship hurt us abroad, as well as at home

By David Rohde
January 2, 2014

The furious partisan debate that erupted this week after a New York Times investigation questioned the central tenet of the Republican assault on the White House regarding Benghazi was a fitting end to 2013.

from The Great Debate:

2014: Another election about Obamacare

By Bill Schneider
December 23, 2013

Here we go again.

2014 will be the third election in a row in which Obamacare is the central issue. The Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010, contributed to a fierce voter backlash against Democrats in November 2010. After the Supreme Court upheld the law in June 2012, the issue seemed to be settled by Obama's re-election that November.

from The Great Debate:

Obamacare’s endless exemptions

By Mitch McConnell
December 20, 2013

Thursday night, the White House announced yet another exemption from the pain Obamacare is causing so many Americans. This latest “fix” would allow some Americans who’ve lost plans to exempt themselves from Obamacare requirements by claiming the law imposes a “hardship” because it’s “unaffordable.”